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Number of firearms officers to increase by more than half

Northumbria Police is recruiting more firearms officers.
Northumbria Police is recruiting more firearms officers.

Northumbria Police will be increasing the number of firearms officers by more than 50 per cent to provide reassurance across the force area.

Last year, the Home Office said it would be giving a chosen number of UK police forces more than £140million to increase their firearms capability.

The investment will help ensure the biggest cities in the country can respond quickly to any threat and provide reassurance to its residents.

Northumbria Police has already been proactive in having a highly visible armed presence at public events, including the Tall Ships Regatta in Blyth.

Now the force has confirmed they will be increasing the number of Authorised Firearms Officers (AFOs) by 50 per cent so they can maintain that visible presence around the force.

Chief Inspector Simon Hall, head of the Firearms Support Unit (FSU), said: “There is no specific intelligence to say that this region is going to be a target for any sort of terrorist activity, but we have the capability to respond quickly if we ever needed to.

“We are one of nine forces across the UK who have been provided with government funding to increase the number of our firearms officers and a 50 per cent increase is a significant uplift.”

Those joining the FSU will be recruited internally as well as from other forces.